Saturday, November 14, 2009

Worst new omics word award: material degradomics

And the bad omics words just keep getting worse. This one really takes the cake. A story from BBC News Online (Sniff test to preserve old books)
discusses how
"Researchers report in the journal Analytical Chemistry that a new "sniff test" can measure degradation of old books and historical documents."
The work they are doing actually seems quite interesting. But alas, the way they describe it does not. They refer to this method as "material degradomics". I fortunately do not have access to the paper at home but a google search reveals some text from their paper
Through similarities with metabolomics,(15) we propose to define a new field of material degradomics (and related terms, Table 1).
I literally dread what is in table 1. For creating a new omics term that seems thoroughly unnecessary and distracting, I am giving Matija Strli and colleagues one of my coveted "Worst New Omics Word Awards." Hat tip to PaulBo who posted a comment about this on my "Fermentome" award post.

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